"The only way to be truly satisfied, is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do." Steve Jobs
Once "inking" gets into your veins you will never be able to live without it. Frank J. Garcia

My Surface PRO 3 'Must Have' Accessories List

Monday, December 31, 2012

More than 17700 WinRT Apps

Back in November I did an analysis of WinRT Apps Store and predicted that we should be ending this year with around 13395 Applications. Well I was wrong. But nothing can make me happier than to be wrong in this case. According to WinRT Store we should be ending the year with 17738 Apps!

Fixing WiFi limited connectivity in Surface RT

I thought that it may be useful to summarize some of the changes that have helped to some users to fix this issue. In my case I did not apply the registry changes because I have an AP with dual band 2.4 and 5GHz and both bands identified with different SSID and I'm forcing Surface to connect to 5Ghz.


In Metro, swipe your finger from the bottom of the screen up, select from the bar All Apps, locate the Command Prompt application, select it by dragging down the icon, select from the bar Run as Administrator, OK the warning message, the system will switch to Desktop mode. In the command prompt type the following commands:

  • netsh int tcp set heuristics disabled
  • netsh int tcp set global autotuninglevel=disabled
  • netsh int tcp set global rss=enabled

At this point reboot your Surface RT. After reboot proceed with this commands:

  • netsh interface ipv4 set address "Wi-Fi" dhcp (if this gave you an error check the name of your connection, it may not be "Wi-Fi")
  • ipconfig /renew


If you still have problems apply the following registry changes:

Open Desktop -> Search -> regedit
Open regedit. Select menu Edit -> Find...
Enter "AutoUse40Mhz" -> do search.

There are 2 such entries in registry. We need to change one, located under

   "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\" branch.

  - Set "AutoUse40Mhz" to "0" (it has value "1" by default)(This limits the channel bandwidth to use 20MHz, this reduce the speed and it's the recommended setting when you are experiencing issues with  n connectivity)

  -  Set "Band" to "4" (it has value "6" by default)(for what I understand this change may force some devices to  connect g)(I would recommend to apply the first registry change, reboot and see what happens before applying this other change).

Reboot the Surface. Some users believe that these registry changes will make the Surface to connect using the g connection instead of n. That's not the case. Your Surface still be connected using the n protocol but using a slower bandwidth.

To achieve maximum output, a pure 802.11n 5 GHz network is recommended. If you have a 5GHz AP these registry changes should not be needed at all. To know what ratio are you using check the connection status to find the connection speed. If your speed is greater than 130Mbps, its 802.11N otherwise not. Some standard values for 802.11N are 150Mbps & 300Mbps. In my case, its 802.11g as speed is 54Mbps.

In your AP, WMM is required to be on for any Wi-Fi Alliance Certified N product. By default WMM is already on but many users disable it which may prevent N rates or lower throughput.

 
Useful links:
 




http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/surface/forum/surfwinrt-surfnetwork/wifi-issues/c593dff8-61b3-496c-b8f2-f9deb3e4b35e

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Tips to free space in your Surface RT

I found this forum thread with a lot a useful tips to help Surface Owners to free some Space in their devices hard drive.

The author is promising to publish a tip to move installed programs or it's resources (music, images, Tec) to the microsd card. Something really useful if you are installing large games.

Monday, December 24, 2012

My Windows Phone saved me money

It's not a new feature but it's something that I used yesterday for the first time. A week ago I came home to find that my Multimedia PC was dead, apparently the surge protector where I had it connected was not good enough or the power supply just stop working. The repair cost was high enough to convince me to buy a Backup Battery. I did a little research online and found in Office Depot what I was looking for so I headed to my local store to buy it. Unfortunately, they did not have in stock the one I wanted and the next in line had a price tag of $47. Like 10 dollars more than the one I wanted. Then it came to my mind to do a search for a better deal scanning the barcode with my Nokia 810 with Windows Phone 8. I open an Apps called Scan, pointed the 810 to the barcode and few seconds later I had a list of three local stores selling the same Battery, one of them for just $40. The rest was just negotiation. I asked the cashier if they match the price of other local stores and when she said yes I showed to her my search results. I had to scan the barcode on front of her again to convince her that I was not lying and that did the trick.

So my Nokia 810 saved me $7.

The other trick I used this Christmas was to ask my Nokia for the Closest stores and then drive there using Nokia Maps. Both, the search and the navigation worked like a charm. And the Amolet display performed a lot better outdoor than my old Nexus One Display.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

That simple

My friends at www.wintablet.info have pointed me to a video that is so beautifully done that I have to share here.


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Surface RT is a hit in BestBuy

Microsoft is selling the Surface RT in BestBuy and is getting from users a very high satisfaction rate of 4.7 out of 5 possible points.

Here are some of the reviews posted there:
For all those looking at surface RT as ipad replacement. I say buy it. I have been using my ipad 3 since release and love it but needed something with keyboard and trackpad. this is perfect. I can watch live stream of cnn and do other things at the same time. Its a perfect laptop replacement for those who don't need lot of processing power. Don't wait for the surface pro. the battery life is all day. I am writing this review on my surface. I was waiting for surface pro but this has everything I need plus the extra battery life and cheaper. I would suggest to buy type cover, its worth it. also there is a way to enable flash videos on all websites. google it. Also there are not lots of apps but you don't need it. you have internet explorer to do everything.
Another user expressed:
I like this way more than I thought I would. So much that I gave away my android tablet after using this for a while. The keyboard and touchpad are unobtrusive but there when you need them and the keyboard has cursor keys!. The gui is actually very well thought out for a touchpad once you get used to it. performance is just fine and battery life is about a day of use. When you need it, it has desktop mode, which is Windows. Full usb is great. I've got a 64G sd card in and almost as much storage as my desktop. Not so good: The email app is primitive. Full-screen IE is usable but needs history view. Could use voice-to-text in most places like on phone. Wish it had full-size hdmi port. Wish I could run full-screen apps in background when they're hidden.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Audible - Audiobooks and more

Audible, one of the most popular and literally eBook readers has been released in Windows RT Store.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Surface RT in the stores near to you

It's a fact. Microsoft started selling the Surface in Staples, BestBuy and other retailers around USA. This is without any doubt a good news for those like me that think that we are in the presence of a product with a lot of potential.

This move makes MS more competitive against the more than 10000 locations where Apple sells the iPad. Microsoft was selling the Surface online and in just 32 stores according to all the reports and info available at Microsoft's own site.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Surface RT software update

Microsoft has released today few patches for WinRT and some specifically for the Surface RT, specifically to "reduce" the amount of different scenarios where some users received a "limited" connectivity message according to post published in this MS forum.

I never suffered from the connectivity issue so I can't report anything about this fix but some users in the above mentioned forum are expressing that the fix did not help them. Being a professional in the Tech Support field I can understand both sides, the owners frustrations and Microsoft's because when you are on front of an issue reported by some users and that's not affecting other users is very hard to find the cause of it and then the fix.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Fake or real

Recently I have seen a wave of TV and Radio stations talking about how to buy fake followers for Twitter and Facebook. The problem is that they have gone after Obama, and all celebrities that they can remember checking their followers statuses and accusing the account holders of buying fake followers. Be careful. I used the same tool to check my Twitter account and this is what I found.


I'm not a big Twitter or Facebook fan. I use them to post, something that happens automatically, any new comment that I publish at my blog. I never have tweaked in any way the amount of followers I have. I just do not care about it. And the results say that 15% of my followers are either inactive or fake. So. How did they get there? The inactive I can comprehend, but 4% fake, where they came from? I think that they are spammers that create them wishing that some of my followers click on their accounts to investigate and this way Spam them or something. So if 30% of a big celebrity are fake do not jump into the wrong conclusion. You may end being sued.

Surface RT coming to other stores

Comparing is in our human nature. One of the most popular topics about Surface around the web is predicting the amount of sales and compare that to Apple's iPad sales. Well, that's not a fair comparison. IPad is being sold in Apple's Stores around the world (395), Walmart (8970) and BestBuy (1150) for a total of more than 10500 stores. There are other companies selling the iPad but I'll just ignore them, with these 3 we have enough for our comparison.

Do you know how many stores Microsoft has around the World? 32. 31 in USA and 1 in Canada. Now you can see why is really unfair to compare Apple's sales against Microsoft's Sales at this point on time.

Lets do an easy and quick calculation, imagine that all these stores only sell one unit per day, after a month the whole total between all of them will end with 325965 iPad against 992 Surface RT!

Lets keep playing and guessing. If the rumors around the web are right and Microsoft will end these two months selling 500000 units, and that the experiment that I read where somebody checked for one day one of the Microsoft Store and did not see anyone coming out with a Surface is real. That means, that knowing that at 1 per day rate all the MS stores could have sold only around 2000 units, we can say that almost the whole 500000 have been sold by the online Store, this means around 8000 units per day!

That's why the rumor of Microsoft starting selling the Surface RT in other retail and online stores is that important.

We are talking about the potential of selling 1000 units per day in the retails stores of other companies to 10000 per day in their online Stores. Imagine BestBuy and Walmart online Stores selling per day the same as MS, 8000*3= 24000*31= 744000 units per month! And if the retails stores of Walmart and BestBuy just sell 1 unit every two days we are talking about 150000 unit's more per month (counting that Microsoft is thinking about selling the Surface in these two big companies).

After seeing all these numbers I believe that with this move Microsoft can sell easily around a million of units per month. Which is a decent number.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Stay away from the Desktop

I was reading today some comments posted in our Spanish Site for Windows Tablets and in one of them the author was saying that what's killing Windows RT is the Desktop. Later on I found this other article where you can read the following statement:

What aggravates me the most with the Surface RT is the Windows 7-style desktop layout inside - it’s a fallacy, ignore it - this isn’t Windows 7 or Windows 8. Even calling it “Desktop” is a lie. 
As soon as anyone set eyes on this, they do everything in their power to stay inside it, thinking they’re home. This isn’t home, it’s a husk filled with a lackluster Office Suite and Internet Explorer - and that’s it.
The whole article is good but these few words nailed the whole secret behind those that say to love the new Surface RT. I use the Desktop only when I'm using OneNote or when I'm researching the registry or using some hidden Windows configuration tool called using the wonderful modern UI search feature located in the right menu bar. One search for everything located always in the same place. Nothing is easier neither simpler.

When you are using WinRT the Desktop is not your friend. That's only a shell needed to launch Office and the full version of IE. Stay in the Modern UI from where you can do everything, call and use everything.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Trackpad Setting

Microsoft has released an application to configure the Surface's Trackpad, here is the link.

Still, it's the best

My previous posts have been written trying to show why I think that Microsoft's effort should be directed to fix current issues with the Surface RT instead of rushing to release the PRO thinking about it as the money maker. The money maker is the one on this video:


The high risk behind the Surface PRO

TabletPC have been in the market close to 10 years and it has been extremely popular with just a small portion of the market. I have been using them and I love them but when Apple released the iPad showed the world why TabletPC never gained in popularity. TabletPC were heavy, they were most of the time slow and the battery life on them never passed the 4 hours barrier. The iPad in another hand were not heavy, software run fast and the battery life was more than 10 hours.

Now, let's check the Surface PRO, it's not that heavy, but UMPC were not and they were not a lot more popular than TabletPCs, we do not have any elements to judge the speed of it but we can say that it uses an i5 processor which have not impressed me personally at all, you will find applications like iTunes taking a long time to load and do anything. And the battery life is between 4 to 5 hours. Sorry, but nothing classifies closer than this to a TabletPC. The Surface PRO is a TabletPC.

Now, the question that I have in my mind this whole time is, what the heck is making MS believe that they will be able to retake the old concept and make it popular this time?

Why being a TabletPC fan I selected the RT over the PRO? Because of the processor, the RT performance and the battery life.

The ARM processor runs virtually cool, there is not any need for a fan or extra heat dissipation. I wonder how this issue was resolved in the Surface PRO but I can tell you one thing, the Surface PRO will never run cooler than the RT. That's for sure. And if a fan was needed then there will be some noise. We can speculate about how optimized is the OS in the Surface PRO to make it faster but again, there is not any way to make it faster than what you see in the RT version which has been cleaned all that's possible removing most of the drivers and other things that never will be used in the RT. In the PRO version so far they said to have included Windows 8 PRO. The same thing they said about the differences between Office RT and Office Full version to be included also in the PRO. So definitely I do not expect to see a better performance in the PRO version. A Battery Life of 4 to 5 hours is virtually half of a working day. Tell your employer that you are going be working half of your working day. Get it? That means that you will be forced to carry a charger, or an extra batteries or load the Surface PRO with an extended battery if that's possible in the PRO version. Any of this solutions means an extra thing to carry and an extra weight.

So why PRO? Just to be able to run any Windows Application? The amount of applications for RT is growing daily and soon you will find replacement for those Windows programs that you are currently using and missing. For the rest a very simple approach. Keep a PC in your home always running and use it as application server. When you need to run iTunes, for example, you connect via Remote Desktop and run it there. I have been using this method with my iPad for more than a year and now with my Surface RT and it works very well.

So what's the selling point of Surface PRO? At least for me none. So if MS did not convinced me who will be convinced?

Apple has shifted the market showing users other ways that work better for the majority of the users. Sticking to old concepts will not in anyway help Microsoft to compete against Apple.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Microsoft, I'm hanging my boxing gloves


Microsoft, I’m hanging my boxing gloves

Something in this company is extremely wrong and you do not have to be an expert to notice it. The scariest thing is that those with the power to do something do nothing. It’s like they are blind.

A month ago Microsoft released the Surface RT to the world, according to the company the reason to start selling its own Tablet was the lack of quality of the Tablets and other devices that the hardware partners were selling loaded with Windows. If you want something well done you have to do it yourself.

For those that follow the life and changes of this technology world this sounded like an awakening of a huge monster that was sleeping perhaps for a very long time. This was what everybody was waiting to see. The beginning of a real competition between this company and Apple. Without competition there is not a source for innovation. Part of us were tired of seeing iPads released with the same old iOS full of restrictions and without big changes since it was released for the first time. Windows 8 and Surface RT was the change that we were hoping to see. A hardware well made with an Operating System that finally was bringing something new and different since Windows 95 was released, an OS with a new user interface capable of handling touch and mouse. Simple and easy to use.

And what did we get? A Surface RT with a hardware that you could only dream about it with a keyboard of amazing characteristics that under heavy use lasts few weeks, no reaching even a month. The first fiasco. What failed? The lack of experience of the company picked for this project? The poor quality control from a company – Microsoft- with little experience as PC manufacturer?

And if the keyboard fiasco was not enough with have hundreds of users complaining about WiFi disconnecting or connecting with limited functionality, we have little problems with the OS and some of the programs included in the Surface RT and we had to deal with a preview version of Office 2013 that generated a lot of bad press in the blogosphere from people testing it without having upgraded first to the full version.

I cannot imagine a scenario where nobody at MS did not notice the WiFi issue. Yes, I’m not suffering from this issue but I have played around with my AP and Surface RT up to a point where I got it working. SOMETHING THAT THE AVERAGE USER SHOULD NOT BE DOING. What the average user wants is something that finds an AP and connects EVERY SINGLE TIME. Like an iPad. If Microsoft did not find this issue was because they rushed this device to the market without testing it enough. And I’m talking about real life tests. No Labs tests. I do not know how many 1000s of MVPs Microsoft has, why you don’t use them for these tests, you do not trust them and NDA, then use your own employees. DO SOMETHING, THINK OUT OF THE BOX! But do not release a product in this condition if you are thinking about set an example to be followed by your hardware partners.

A Mail software without POP3 support. I do not care if this is an obsolete technology. I do not use it. But there is a lot of users using it. You were open minded to support Flash, another obsolete technology, so why exclude POP3? The Mail program has many other problems, it stops working from time to time, crashes, it does not report correctly the number of new messages in the home screen tile, etc.

I was reading yesterday an article from one of the news sites I follow where the conclusion was that the Surface was not ready for the average user and just for IT professionals and I hate to say it but I agree. I won’t recommend this device to anybody that is an average user. I have been defending this device that to me is a lot better than any Tablet in the market including the iPads. But it’s not for everybody. It’s not ready to compete against the iPad.

But wait, this is not all. This week the prices and official specs for the Surface PRO was unveiled. A battery life of about 4 hours! That’s all you read everywhere!  4 hours of battery life was what the best UMPC were getting. And the whole UMPC concept was dropped and one of the reason was that. It’s time for manufacturers to comprehend that if they do not release a Tablet with at least 8 hours of battery life is better to no release it.

Another point that scares me is that may be somebody at Microsoft is thinking that by releasing the Surface PRO as soon as possible they can generate more sales. You are wrong! With that battery life users are looking at Surface Pro like this one is just an UMPC or TabletPC and those two concepts are not working any more. They love the simplicity and mobility of Tablets. They do not want to carry a Tablet and a charger. You will get more revenue by fixing the Surface RT issues before Christmas and staying with RT than wasting your time and money with the PRO version.

Surface PRO is a TabletPC and the market will act like it has been doing it all these years with TabletPCs and UMPC. None of these two concepts were popular and have not been able to compete against Apple’s iPad.

I believe that Surface RT is a winner product. But for this to become that we need to see changes at Microsoft. The responsible for all these mistakes and bad decisions have to pay for them. I wouldn’t like to see the Surface following the path of the Zune, the UMPC and Windows Mobile.

 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

TabletPC2 has published Santa's 2012 list

As usual every Christmas season TabletPC2 publishes the Santa's Gift List.



The Surface RT was included this year, something that does not surprise me even now when resent rumors are talking about MS cutting down the orders quantity for the rest of the year.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Facebook for Surface RT

Some days ago I found an user threatening Microsoft to return his Surface if Microsoft does released a Facebook Apps. I had and still have now when I'm writing this note to put in practice all my experience as Tech Support to do not explode and name that person the best I can in my "French" vocabulary. Instead that I asked a question, what's wrong with Facebook.com?


For the first time you have in a Tablet a full version of Facebook working and this user is making a big deal because "he can't access Facebook"? That person never replied back to me. I wonder why.

And Facebook is not the only request. Twitter! Where is Twitter client?!



I changed my Twitter background image a long time ago after that I bought an iPad and I never saw that beautiful background again. One more time why I would need an App if I have access to the real thing!?

The Best Tablet for Business Users

This article summarizes my thoughts about the Surface RT. It may not be perfect or bit the iPad on the black Friday sales but sooner or later it will gain the attention of business users and that will shift the market. Paul Everton is the CEO of Yapmo, a Company specialized in Software for businesses. He recently bought a Surface and his conclusion was that there is not any Tablet in the market better than Surface to cover the business users needs.

I'm going to quote here some fragments of his article that I consider important to understand why so many of us love the Surface. This is what Paul says:

Initially, I thought that the lack of apps was where the Surface would really struggle. My assumption here was only half true. When you have a tablet that has a full web browser that can load anything, the need for apps greatly diminishes. Instead I just went to my favorite "Apps" on the web and pinned them to my start page. Now I get the full experience of everything, and not some slimmed down version to make it an app.


A real file system. This might be one of the most important features. iPad's inability to share files between apps is frustrating and ridiculous. With Surface if someone sends me a word document and I want to download it to a folder and access it with 10 other programs I can do it with ease! This is another place the Surface wins hands down!  


A real browsing experience. I have become numb to mobile device browsers failing on all sorts of websites. So I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Surface will load every web page, no matter what (content?) it's running. A good example of this was sitting on my couch the other day watching TV. I wanted to order a pizza from Dominos (yes, I know I live in Chicago and this is a sin to like Dominos over other pizza restaurants). In the past, this site never worked on any mobile or tablet browser I have used. While I waited for my pizza I opened up Amazon EC2 and also checked the status of our server infrastructure. Finally, something that doesn't show me half the page or fails to load key functionality. 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

European Wish Lists

According to Experian the most searched devices in the UK market are: iPad Mini, Nexus 7 and Surface RT in this order.


Europe always has been more Apple territory than MS, the fact that Surface is in this small list is a huge point. They also did an analysis of what type of users were the one searching and here is the chart and what they said about it:


 
 
 
What is clear here from the spider diagram above is that the Surface page (the red line) is over-indexing on the Alpha Territory, Liberal Opinions, Careers and Kids and New Homemakers groups. These are people who live in up-and-coming areas of the big cities and the desirable leafy suburbs. Compared to Microsoft’s current audience (the green line) for its main website, people interested in the Surface have more disposable income and are younger, more tech-savvy individuals. These are the same types of people that are Apple’s core audience, and so the signs are positive for Microsoft if they can make inroads into this segment of consumers and present an attractive alternative to the iPad. 

Surface RT in the top of the wish lists

Surface RT is in the top of the wish list for this Christmas according to PriceGrabber.


Microsoft will support Surface RT until 2017

According to various sources, Microsoft will support the Surface RT until April 2017. Really good news for Surface's Owners showing Microsoft commitment to this device. As many other sites already noticed, Apple stopped updating the original iPad after 2 years and one month.

Can Microsoft keep such promise? Well, 4 years is a long time when you are talking about technology. Microsoft ended with Windows XP the idea of supporting without upgrades the same OS for long period of time. Now we should be seeing a new OS every two years. So if this still in place we should see at least one more version of the OS in the life of the Surface RT. Will IT be compatible with a new version of the OS or the hardware is not going to be powerful enough to handle that OS new version? Let's hope it's.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Torturing the Surface

By now I doubt that anyone out there believe that the Surface is not a well made Tablet. But if you believe otherwise I invite you to check this video.

In this video the Surface survived more than 2 hours in a freezer.

And it survived this test...

Then it was used to cook an egg for more than one hour at 250 F.


 
 
 
 
And again, it survived this test. Unfortunately it got finally killed by a glass of wine on top of it. Even after it's dead the tortures did not end, it was used as skateboard and thrown few times against the cement floor.
 

The glass broke when it felt into it's corner. A test that almost nobody passes. 

No doubts about it, the Surface is a well made Tablet.
 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Community leaders share their expertise at Microsoft Stores

Community leaders share their expertise at Microsoft Stores!
Microsoft Stores are not only a great place to get the latest and greatest PCs, tablets, games and phones – they are also a place to learn about using technology in the real world! You can find workshops and other events at the Microsoft Store’s event calendar nearest you!
This holiday season, technical experts from the community as a part of Microsoft’s Most Valuable Professional award  are joining in to host consumer education sessions!
Attend & Complete a Survey to Enter to Win a ASUS VivoTab RT!
 
Across Microsoft Stores in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, “MVPs” are joining the Microsoft Stores at consumer workshops to share their expertise and insight about using Microsoft products in real life. Topics for these sessions include: Meet Windows 8, the new Xbox Experience, Outlook.com, Office and more!

ATTEND AND WIN!
By attending one of these sessions and completing the attendee survey, you are entered to a sweepstakes to win one of two ASUS VivoTab RTs with Windows RT and Office Home and Student Preview RT! You can find the official rules here.








  It’s easy to enter:
1.       Attend one of the free MVP Consumer Camp workshops at a Microsoft Store.
2.       Complete and submit the attendee survey.
3.       Stay tuned for the winners announcement on December 18, 2012

All of these events are presented by Outlook.com in partnership with Microsoft MVP Award and Consumer Camp. If you have questions about this, email mstips@microsoft.com. You can find the official sweepstakes rules for session attendees here.
Follow the MVP events on Twitter @ConsumerCamp
  

Win an Asus VivoTab RT


Share you tips and win in the Microsoft Community Video Tips sweepstakes!
 
Everyone knows - video is BIG! The community has been using video online to share stories about your life, highlight things you care about and educate the world about technology! Today, Microsoft is celebrating all the ways people just like you share your ‘tech tips’ through video by launching the Microsoft Community Video Tips sweepstakes! There are so many exciting new products from Microsoft this holiday season – Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, Office Home and Student RT preview, your favorite apps and more! Take your pick!
 
Enter to Win a ASUS VivoTab RT!

 
On December, 18th 2012, two random submissions will be selected to win an ASUS VivoTab RT with Windows RT and Office Home and Student RT Preview!
 
Want to improve your odds? Add more video tips for more chances to win!
 
 
 
Better still - There will be two additional ASUS VivoTab RTs going to random winner, exclusively for video tips that highlight the features and value of OUTLOOK.COM! There are plenty of great features you could highlight! Share how you use the sweep feature to keep a clean inbox! Highlight how you’ve connected all your email accounts into one Outlook.com account! Any real world tip you can think of, share it and enter to win!
 

 
 It’s easy to enter:
1.       Post your Microsoft video tips up to YouTube (keep it concise – one tip per video)
2.       Submit your video tip links in the submission form.
3.       Stay tuned for the winners announcement on December 18, 2012
 
 
These video tips are presented by Outlook.com in partnership with Microsoft MVP Award. If you have questions about this sweepstakes, email mstips@microsoft.com. You can find the official sweepstakes rules here.
 
Follow these community tips on Twitter @MSVideoTips

 

 

Monday, November 19, 2012

mkv player for surface rt

That's it. The first player that plays almost all formats has been released in Microsoft Store: XYPlayer. That's the good news. The bad news is that it does not work, it does not play any of the video files I tested it with.

I'm familiar with the iPad version and I think that this issue will be fixed soon so keep your eyes opened for an update.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

USB to Ethernet for Surface RT

Believe it or not still out there a lot of people asking for an Ethernet connection for the Surface RT. The reasons are many but ones of the most important are speed and security. For those in this situation here is an adapter that has been tested with Surface RT which drivers for WinRT has been released.

Here is the link to the Adaptor at Amazon. Here is the link for the Driver. Of course you need to download the one for Windows RT. This driver will work with any USB to Ethernet adaptor using the AX88772A chipset.

Once the device is plugged you need to open the device manager, in Desktop mode search in settings for Device Manager.

 
 
Do a right click in the listed other device chipset and pick update driver. The rest is to pick Browse my PC and locate the uncompressed files downloaded from the above mentioned link.


Note: for some reason the RT driver has been removed from the list of drivers in the Manufacturer's site. I have contacted them asking about the reasons behind that. If I get any answer back I'll post it here.

Update: the driver exist and works and the only reason is not distributed is Microsoft's nonsense.

Update 2: I have heard anything back from any of the sides involved in this situation. If anybody needs the driver please, let me know and I'll send it. 

http://www.tweaks2k2.com/binfiles/AX88772B_772A_772_WinRT_Driver_v3.16.0.1807.zip

who boots faster

Browsing YouTube I found a video that compares the boot time between the Surface and the iPad 3.


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Optimizing the WiFi in your Surface RT

I never have problems with WiFi in the Surface, now, my 5Ghz band is weaker than the 2.4Ghz which is also normal but I find that it's a little bit weaker than what I think it should be considering the distance between the device and the AP.

Anyway, when I got the Surface and I connected via the 5Ghz band and I found what I just described I went and did what I usually do in all my PC, optimize the TCPIP settings. I was not expecting to find a version of TCPIP Optimizer for WinRT so I did a search in Google for TCPIP optimizing hacks and I found this page:

http://www.speedguide.net/articles/windows-7-vista-2008-tweaks-2574

Using a DOS windows with elevated privileges you can apply almost all the recommended settings there.

Taking in consideration that I did this with my Surface almost right out of the box and that I have only seen the "limited" message issue one time connecting to my phone using it as hotspot in an area with a very poor 3G reception, I'm inclined to think that may be that some of the settings mentioned in the above link may help with some of the issues described here by other users.

Friday, November 16, 2012

WinRT Apps Store in numbers

I have been checking the WinRT Apps Store for the last 5 days and with the numbers collected I prepared some statistics. 5 days is not enough data for a serious study but will give a fair idea of what is the growth in the Application Front.

The average of applications released in 5 days was 291.


This means that in 24 working days we should be seen a total of 6989 applications released. We should be ending this year with 13395 applications and the year 2013 with about 89107 applications.

These numbers are not bad at all but keep in mind that it's better to have 100 applications with good quality than 100000 "farting" applications. In this field since the Surface Release I have seen released good Applications such as eWallet, Bank of America, Nook, Zillow, The Weather Channel, Weather Bug, Urbanspoon, Kayak, Flixter, Angry Birds and many other from well known companies that are popular in Apple's Store and Android.

In my opinion, by the end of year I should see installed in my Surface all my preferred application I was using in my iPad.

By the way, the chart shown in this article was created using Excel 2013 RT without using any keyboard or mouse, just the touch screen. It's simple, but I just spent less than 2 minutes typing the data and creating the chart. I found the experience very pleasant and for those saying that Office RT is far from being a productive tool when it used in a Surface RT, you are all absolutely wrong. After this experience I'm more than convinced that Surface RT is the perfect tool for those that want to own a Tablet and still being productive. For those looking just for a consumption device you have the iPad.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Google Search for WinRT

Google Search has been released in WinRT Store. I have played a little with this application and I'm really not impressed at all. The application was not optimized  for WinRT from the performance point of view. Maps shows you the Desktop page which is too heavy for the ARM processor. Blogger does not work properly. Voice Search failed to recognize my broken English 70% of the time. YouTube asks you to install flash player even when it runs properly if you open it from IE. The Search tool works but it does it well when you run it from IE so I do not know at this point if it's a good idea to waste your HDD space in this half cooked application.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Tom's Hardware reviews the Surface

The guys at Tom's Hardware have played a lot with their Surface RT and here is what they said about it.
With the few things we dislike aside, we continue to be bullish about using Microsoft's Surface as a replacement for the Ultrabooks and MacBook Airs we carry around with us to trade shows and meetings, along with the tablets we use around the house when we get home. Flip the cover up and drag our fingers around the way we'd use a tablet? Sure. Drop the Type Cover down, snap out the kickstand, and bang out some email? Definitely. Hook up a second monitor for some extra workspace in the office? Yes, please! We certainly can't say the same for any iOS- or Android-based device.
One of the Surface's biggest advantages is its ability to multitask effectively. And yet one of its most glaring weaknesses is the Windows Store, with its limited selection of Windows RT-ready apps. We have to hesitate on a recommendation knowing the Surface Pro is coming soon. We're only afraid of what it's going to cost, given a steep price tag on a Surface with the Type Cover we like so much.
They ran a lot of battery tests and Surface's Battery is not bad.

Running Windows 7 applications in Surface RT


The above screen shot shows HandBrake, a tool used to create MP4 or MVK from any other video format or DVD, running in my Surface RT. Ok, I'm cheating. In reality I'm using a new feature introduced in Windows Server 2008 called RemoteApps or Remote Applications. This feature allows a machine with Remote Control enabled to connect to another machine, server, with Remote Control enabled and run just one specific application resident in the Server Machine. The trick is that some users found that this feature from Windows 2008 Server is hidden but present in Windows 7 if they change some registry keys. Later on somebody created this tool to make the life of the rest of us easier.

The whole process is really simple. You enable Remote Desktop in your Windows 7, you install Remote Desktop in your Surface RT, search in your App Store for it, it's free. Once you have that, download and install the above mentioned tool in your W7 and run it. You fill all the fields needed, create the Application Settings in W7 and then hit the create the RDP file button. That will create a file that you are going to copy in your Desktop in Surface RT. The rest is just double clicking on it and after establishing the connection you will see the application opened in your WinRT device.

People has tested this approach with other applications as complex as Visual Studio and it works perfect. The feeling is like you are running that application in your WinRT machine.

Update: 2014-05-04. Still one of the most useful tricks to be used in Windows RT. Here is a screen shot taken in a Surface 2 of iTunes.


 
 

Give the Surface RT and WinRT 8 a chance

I was recently reading one of my favorite pages and I ended with a sad feeling thinking that while Apple fanatics saved the first iPad with all it's restrictions, lack of software, lack of multitasking, impossibility to sharing with other devices other than Apple's, without a decent Office package, without a full control of the file space and tied to a PC for anything or common tasks as simple as copying a eBook! While the Apple fans did that we have Windows users and News pages making big deal out of few imperfections found in Surface RT and it's OS.

And the worse thing is that we all the bad press of these insignificant points we are going to kill the first steps in more than 20 years of creating a new or at least different OS and the hardware around this OS. For every single thing mentioned in those pages and articles, I can mention many features that make me a believer in W8 RT and the Surface.

Just read these articles:
http://winsupersite.com/windows-rt/why-surface-rt-part-1-multiple-users
http://winsupersite.com/windows-rt/why-surface-rt-part-2-microsoft-office
http://winsupersite.com/windows-rt/why-surface-rt-part-3-usb
http://winsupersite.com/windows-rt/why-surface-rt-part-4-task-switching

In more than 3 years of iPad supremacy they have not provided us consumers any of these solutions because their multitasking is far from being one. Come on, it’s time to look toward the Sun and see the beauty of it and no the black spots. Yes, they are there, we are not blind! But there are more than those black spots.

Out there we do not have anything in the tablet market that can give us a decent level of productivity until know. Let’s help this new concept. Let’s open our minds. Give Microsoft a chance!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Windows RT update released today



A Windows RT update has been released today, the more than 105Mb package is said to fix some security holes and performance issues in this recently released Operating System.

what is going on!?

Today everybody in our technical community was talking about the sudden departure of Steven Synofsky from Microsoft in a moment when everything seems to be taking a good course for this Company. Fired? Leaving? Nobody knows for sure. I just hope that this move is for good for both sides.

Monday, November 12, 2012

At last, a comparison point for WinRT

Benchmark are good because they help you to establish comparison points between PCs. Speed Test Pro may be is not fancy or the best, but it's the first one to help in this task of comparing WinRT devices.

Here are the results that I got in my Surface RT.

Surface, how hard to kill

According to this source the following picture belong to a Surface RT left forgotten on top of a car and being run over later by another car.


Can your iPad support that?

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Bookmark this page

It has been there since the release date but I just noticed. For all your Services needs of your Surface, MySurface.Service.com.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Zinio

Zinio is one if not the best Magazine Reader available. And it was recently released in WinRT Store!

The Weather Channel

The Weather Channel Apps is one of my "Must Have" Applications. It's was just released today.

 
 

Friday, November 09, 2012

Shazam for WinRT

Shazam is one of the tools that I had it in my iPad, I have it in my Android phone and now I have it in my Surface. For those who do not know this tool, it's a software capable of recognizing any music playing and tell you all the information available about the song including videos available at YouTube and what's more important, where to buy it.
The WinRT version has some very nice animations and design.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Surface RT covers all your printing needs

Printing from any Tablet is almost a pain in ... You know where. No anymore if you have a Surface RT. You can print even in one of those old matrix printer! Can you iPad do this?


Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Looking for a PDF notation App for WinRT

You do not have to keep looking any more. Today PDF Touch has been released.


The application allows you to highlight, draw with your finger or stylus, and save your changes in a PDF. And the best thing, it's free!

Office Depot

Office Depot released today an Application in Microsoft Store compatible for WinRT.


Another one joining MS Store's Club!

Surface RT only have 16 Gb free out of 32 and what?!

There is a lot of comments and articles around the web talking about an explanation from MS of why the Surface RT has only 16Gb free. That was not news a week ago when it was released and many reported that fact. Why is so important now? The fact is that you pay the same for even less free space in the iPad 16Gb. And yes, the whole iOS uses a lot let space than WinRT, what nobody is mentioning is that WinRT supports out of the box a lot more printers and other devices than the iPad. That in the Surface RT you have a microSD slot that allows you to add 64Gb more of storage space. That WinRT allows you to create multiple accounts and that WinRT comes with many features of the full version of Windows that allows you to do what you simply can't do in an iPad.

And if you doubt it here is an old trick that works very well in WinRT.

Go to Windows Desktop and create a folder and name it: GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}

The GodMode name can be changed to anything as long as you keep the extension the same.



When you open the folder you will be surprised to see how many features can be configured from there and as an iPad owner I can tell you, Apple does not give you access to the iOS like MS does and that the iOS does not even half of the features that MS included in WinRT.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Speed up IE10 in your Surface RT

Recently I was reading a review at pocketnow.com where the author was complaining about the bad performance of IE10 in his Surface, experience that I was not experiencing. I decided to post a comment in his review and then I noticed myself the bad performance that he was mentioning. At that moment I thought that it was something relative to a bad web design or something like that. Later on I visited XDA Developers where again I noticed the same thing. I usually don't visit these sites and that explained why I never had any issues with IE10 with Metro Style. At XDA I also noticed that if I opened the site in the Desktop Mode I did not have any problems. I commented about this in the XDA forum and they recommended to block the advertising using a feature in IE10 that I did not know about it. One IE10 in the Desktop Mode, go to Tools, Manage Add-ons.
Once there click on Track Protection and then in Get Track Protection List Online.
That will open a site where you will click on Add to add your favorite lists. I selected two of them, Easylist and Fanboy.
Once this is done you will noticed right after that a huge improve when you open those sites and blank spaces where they had before publicity banners.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

One of the best

Microsoft has released an extension to one of the best publicity videos released this year.

Using the Surface to play video in your TV

Sometime ago I was talking with an Apple fan and he was mentioning with a lot of proud that he loved the fact that he could play video from his iPad to his TV thanks to the Apple TV device he had connected to his TV. Now is my turn to say, the Surface RT can do that and even more and here is how is done.

Whenever you play a video in the Video Application of your Surface you will notice a button that allow you to play the video in other devices.



This button appears in the iPad whenever it detects an Airplay device or server. In Surface that button is there even when there is not any device where you could play the video.


 
And here is the trick, the fact is that there will be listed only devices that have been Microsoft Certified or your Xbox if you have one, and I do not have one. But this does not mean that everything is lost. If you switch to Desktop Mode and locate the file that you want to play, do a right click, you will see this menu:


 
 
The Play To option in my case shows the two media player devices I have the WDTVLive and the WDTVLivePlus. As you can see they are not Microsoft Certified, but if you select one of them you will see this other screen coming:
 
 
 
And right after that...
 

The video is playing in my TV, something that the iPad will never do using a device that was not made by Apple or without having applied, installed or hacked a workaround. That's the beauty of Microsoft ecosystem. The total cost of everything needed for this trick is a lot less than what the Apple fan boy pays for his iPad and Airplay device, and that does not count that either WD device mentioned here plays more movies formats and have a lot more features than the AirPlay. Currently we have around 290 devices in the market to select from to use this feature included in Windows RT.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Foxit is coming to Surface RT

Foxit has announced that it will optimize the award winning PDF viewer to work in both versions of Surface. Hum... I do not recall haven seem a version of Foxit in the Apple Store. 😈

Surface does not have 3G and...?

I was reading a review where one of the negative points found in the Surface was the lack of 3G connection. Another bill? The fact is that studies indicate that only 30% of the iPad sold are the 3G version and my personal fact is that if I carry a 3G phone makes more sense to used it as a portable AP than adding another bill into my already full of holes pockets. So here is a screenshot showing my Surface connected to my trusted Nexus One.

BTW, this post has been entirely created in my Surface RT, including the graphic edition using applications that became available after the release date, virtually few hours ago.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Preparing the MicroSD to be used in the Surface RT

I already mentioned one way to prepare de MicroSD card to be used in the Surface RT, but there is another way that in my opinion works a lot better. Using junction points like it's explained in this article. I'm using this method and I'm very pleased with the results.

IE10 for WinRT 8 is 99.94% JavaScript compatible

This result come from this  page designed to check how compatible with JavaScript are Internet Browsers. To have a comparison point, Android Browser scored less than 78%. More than 99% for a browser included in a Tablet (Surface RT) is simply incredible.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I'm rediscovering the web

Sometime ago I published a Post saying that I was using my iPad for more than a year as my main PC at home. Today I opened the Google+ site for Desktop in my Surface RT after many months using the mobile version prepared for the iPad and I found that I was missing a lot in all these months using the iPad! It's like when you compare a black and white TV with a Plasma HD TV! And today Google+ was just the spark that ignited my desire to share this feeling that I have been experiencing since last Friday when I received the Surface RT. Accessing the Web from this Tablet without having any or almost any restrictions is just amazing. Being able to upload files such as pictures to the web without having to use an "App for that" is just an incredible experience. Thanks Microsoft for helping me to rediscovered the Web! The Surface RT has become my main PC at home!

Windows RT: Hardware Compatibility List

Microsoft has created and made available a new page just to help users to check the compatibility with Windows RT of any of device currently in the market. I have to say that the list is just immense. The iPad does not come close to have that many and that wide diversity of accessories.

This is another point gained by Microsoft and it's winner products Surface RT and  Windows 8 RT.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Surface RT: Saving your media in your MicroSD

Having a full version of Windows 8 in Surface RT could be seem sometime as a wrong decision but it's not. Here is why, many already found that there is no way to add a folder located in the SD card to your Windows Library. This is not a bug it's just a limitation included in the OS relative to indexing. Now there is a way to go around this limitation and it's very well described by Paul Thurrott in his site. If you own a Surface RT you are going to need this trick so you better bookmark his site, which by the way has a lot of useful information about the Surface RT and many other topics.

All My Storage Pro

I was looking for a sort of replacement for GoodReader, an application for iPad that allowed me to have all my cloud storage accounts connected to it, that also included ftp sites. Recently All My Storage Pro is now available in Windows Store. Still no at the level that GoodReader is but it works.

Update your Office 2013 in Surface RT

If you got your Surface RT you should keep in mind that it comes loaded with Office 2013 Preview. If not you may end returning your Surface after finding bugs that are already fixed in the full version.

Talking about the Office Update. It's already available in Windows Update, but here is the tricky part, if you are in Windows 8 RT Home screen and you open the Right Side Menu, Settings, there is an option for Windows Update. Unfortunately, that Windows Update does check (it may do it but it does not show them) for the optional updates. The Update to Office 2013 Full Student Version is an Optional Update. To download this Update you should go to the traditional Windows Desktop, open the Right Menu, select Control Panel, System and Security and then Windows Update. There you need to select optional updates and pick the update for Office Preview.

 

I hope that this trick helps you with this adaptation issue.